Attempts to rehabilitate the notion of transcendence, which had been curtailed by
German Idealists (particularly by Kant).
Kant argued that transcendent knowledge is not possible; the ideas of God or the
soul, or the self, or the cosmos, the beginning of the universe, are “ideas of pure
reason.” Theoretical reason is driven to ask such questions (God, soul), but they
are out of bounds. There is no content, no sensation that corresponds to them.
They are not ideas of which we can have certain knowledge, which is the only
theoretical knowledge, which is what he is interested in.
Jaspers is Kantian, and draws on him, arguing that there are limits to what
theoretical reason can attain. However, instead of saying transcendent ideas are
impossible, Jaspers also says that this is where existence starts (where science
and theoretical reasoning leaves off).
Existence comes into being where theoretical reasoning leaves off.
Because existence must confront the antimonies of existence and theoretical
reasoning, it overcomes them. This is a higher level, more authentic level of
consciousness. This is where we discover existence is transcended.
Jaspers writes that his philosophy should elaborate or carry out this
transcendence in all philosophical world orientations
For the sake of experiencing that last limit, there then unfolds a thinking that is
not simply a knowledge of something else; instead that same thinking is a doing,
an act, an awakening.
Views orthodox religion as a hindrance to authentic communication.
The Pursuit of Being
Points out that it is necessary to collapse the artificial dualism or antimony
between interior and exterior, subjectivity and objectivity, between phenomenon
and neumenon, appearance and essence.
Argues that the phenomenon itself is all there is. Therefore, if one wants to attain
philosophical truth, one must conduct phenomenology.
Also talks about essence and the essence of phenomenon, in a way that draws on
Husserl. Says appearance is all there is. Nevertheless, it has an essence. It is a principle of
a series of appearances that manifest itself. This is a 'new dualism' between the
finite and the infinite.
Husserl says that an object can be seen or grasped from many different
perspectives; Sartre says 'yes,' and the principle behind this infinite manifestation
is the object's essence.
The essence (or objectivity) of the phenomenon is not that there is some
essential, neumenal being behind apperances, or a fully complete concept behind
appearances (there are only appearances), but that what makes it objective is
that its there. And it is not y